Yum! Charmian Christie has pulled together all of her favourite baking recipes and tips in The Messy Baker, a down-to-earth cookbook for those of us that are up for making a bit of a mess in the kitchen.
For a little taste of what’s inside check out her recipe for a delicious Dutch Baby:
Peppery Pear And Smoked Gouda Dutch Baby
If a popover and a pancake got together for a romantic tryst, the result would be a bouncing Dutch baby. Like a popover, this dish emerges from the oven puffed and light and proud as punch. Ooh and ahh quickly, as this baby takes on the features of its pancake parentage within minutes. In this version, a layer of peppery sautéed pears naps beneath a blanket of smoked Gouda batter.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Commitment level : ready in an hour or less
1 cup milk
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 ounces smoked Gouda
2 pears (such as Bosc)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Fresh cracked black pepper
Crème fraîche or sour cream, for garnish
Honey, for drizzling
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and a heavy 10″ skillet on the rack to heat. Cast iron is ideal, but any oven- proof skillet will do.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, and melted butter until smooth. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Grate the cheese using the large holes of a box grater. Add it to the batter and stir gently to combine. Set aside while you cook the pears.
3. Peel, core, and cut the pears into 1⁄4″-thick slices. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the room- temperature butter. When it bubbles, place the pears in the butter, add a light grinding of pepper, and cook, stir- ring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pears are lightly golden and beginning to get tender.
4. When the pears are done, remove the heated skillet from the oven. Slide the pears into the hot skillet and arrange in a single layer. Be sure to scrape out all the butter. Give the reserved batter a quick stir, pour it over the pears, and pop the skillet back into the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden. The Dutch baby will not rise as high as a plain version because of the cheese. This is normal. You didn’t do anything wrong,
5. Slice and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche (page 224) or sour cream, a grinding of fresh black pepper, and a drizzle of honey.
Note: Dutch babies don’t sleep well. Eat this dish hot from the oven. Technically, leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and reheated in a skillet, but they might disappoint. If this is the case, serve with Caramelized Bacon (page 82) to take the edge off.
Tip: If you don’t have smoked Gouda, this recipe works with aged Gouda. Don’t like Gouda? Substitute Edam or smoked Cheddar.
Recipes from The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie ©2014. Published by HarperCollins Canada. All rights reserved.
We’re giving away a copy of The Messy Baker! To enter to win, tell us your messiest (or most fun) recipe on Twitter @SavvyReader or in the comments below. Open to Canadians only! Please see our contest Rules and Regulations here. Winner will be contacted on September 10th. Good luck!